Lois Retta Strickland Poole
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Services celebrating the life of Lois Retta Strickland Poole will be held on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 10: a.m. at First United Methodist Church in Natchitoches, LA. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 pm at the church. Officiating will be Reverend Douglas B. Degraffenried. Rolly Walker will deliver the message and Ken Irby and Ellen Alston will provide a prayer. Retta went to be with our heavenly Father on January 8, 2013 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. She was preceded in death by her parents, I.C. and Lois Strickland and her brother, Scott. She is survived by her husband, James M. Poole, her sisters, Myrth and Mary Ann, sons, James Wiliam and Martin Collier and wife, Susan Poole, grandsons, Robert Martin and Daniel James.
Retta was born on February, 13, 1930 in Mansfield, LA. She is the daughter of I.C. and Lois Strickland. She lived in Mansfield until her junior year in high school, when her family moved to Natchitoches. She attended and graduated from Natchitoches High School. Northwestern State University was the place of her undergraduate work. She achieved a degree in Physical Education and a minor in Math. While attending Northwestern, she was a part of an AAU swim team participating throughout Louisiana. She was also a part of the Purple Jacket Organization.
On September 10, 1950 Retta was married to James M. Poole. They lived in Atlanta, GA following their union. They both attended Emory University. Retta continued her swimming by being a part of an AAU team in Atlanta. Retta returned to Louisiana when James was accepted into the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. Their first charge was a circuit of Oak Ridge, Crew Lake, and Trails End. While in Oak Ridge, two sons were born to the couple, James William and Martin Collier. Over the years other churches where they lived and served were; Union Church of Newellton, Lakeview Methodist Church of Minden, Vinton Methodist Church of Vinton, St. Luke's United Methodist in Shreveport, Elizabeth Sullivan United Methodist in Bogalusa, First United Methodist Church in Minden, First United Methodist Church in Natchitoches and as Superintendent of the Ruston District. While in Bogalusa, Retta completed her Masters in Education from Southeastern State University in Hammond, LA. As the couple moved around the state, Retta taught in Shreveport, Sarepta and Minden. She was also an adjunct professor at Northwestern State University. After his retirement, James and Retta spent a summer at the Philmont Boy Scout Ranch in New Mexico where James served as Chaplain.
While living in Ruston, Retta was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. She struggled with the disease and kept a positive attitude for the next 17 years, as she continued to work and serve as she could. Retta was a loyal and devoted fan of the NSU Demons and continued to attend events as long as she was able.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Mrs. Poole's memory can be made to the Retta Strickland Poole Athletic Scholarship at Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, LA 71497.
Published in Shreveport Times on Jan. 9, 2013